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UPSC Age Limit

The age limit for UPSC applies equally to all the services and both males and females, but it does differ based on communities and certain classifications. The number of attempts and age limits vary as per these. The upsc age limit for obc creamy layer is the same as the general category. The diagram below shows clearly the UPSC exam age limit for different communities based on age limit and the number of attempts within that age limit.

A candidate must have attained the age of 21 years and must not have attained the age of 32 years on 1st August of the year of examination if he is a general category student / aspirant. The upper age limit for IAS as well as all other services as explained in diagram below is relaxed for OBC, SC, ST and other categories of aspirants. The age limit for UPSC has been very well explained in the video below. Watch it to get a clear understanding of the age limit for OBC and other categories. In a nutshell the Upsc age limit starts at 21 as no candidate can be younger than 21 years of age. The upper limit is 50 years if he is a domicile of J&K and is handicapped.

UPSC Age Limit Explained

UPSC age limit relaxation for OBC SC/ST

  1. Up to a maximum of five years if a candidate belongs to a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe;
  2. Up to a maximum of three years in the case of candidates belonging to Other Backward Classes who are eligible to avail of reservation applicable to such candidates;
  3. Up to a maximum of three years in the case of Defence Services Personnel, disabled in operations during hostilities with any foreign country or in a disturbed area and released as a consequence thereof;
  4. Up to a maximum of five years in the case of ex-servicemen including Commissioned Officers and Emergency Commissioned Officers (ECOs)/ Short Service Commissioned Officers (SSCOs) who have rendered at least five years Military Service as on 1st August, 2023 and have been released:
    1. on completion of assignment (including those whose assignment is due to be completed within one year from 1st August, 2023, otherwise than by way of dismissal or discharge on account of misconduct or inefficiency); or
    2. on account of physical disability attributable to Military Service; or
    3. on invalidment.
  5. Up to a maximum of five years in the case of ECOs/SSCOs who have completed an initial period of assignment of five years of Military Service as on 1st August, 2023 and whose assignment has been extended beyond five years and in whose case the Ministry of Defence issues a certificate that they can apply for civil employment and that they will be released on three months notice on selection from the date of receipt of offer of appointment.
  6. Up to a maximum of 10 years in the case of candidates belonging to Persons with Benchmark Disabilities (PwBD) categories viz.
    1. blindness and low vision;
    2. deaf and hard of hearing;
    3. locomotor disability including cerebral palsy, leprosy cured, dwarfism, acid attack victims and muscular dystrophy;
    4. autism, intellectual disability, specific learning disability and mental illness;
    5. multiple disabilities from amongst person under clauses (i) to (iv) including deaf-blindness.

UPSC gives cumulative age-relaxation for age limit

Candidates belonging to either the SC or the ST or the OBC category who are also covered under any other clauses of para 3(II)(2) above, viz. those coming under the category of Ex-servicemen or PwBD, will be eligible for grant of cumulative age-relaxation under both categories.

The term Ex-servicemen will apply to the persons who are defined as Ex-servicemen in the Exservicemen (Re-employment in Civil Services and Posts) Rules, 1979, as amended from time to time.

The age concession under para 3(II)(2) (d) and (e) will be admissible to Ex-servicemen i.e. a person who has served in any rank whether as combatant or non-combatant in the Regular Army, Navy and Air Force of the Indian Union and who either has been retired or relieved or discharged from such service whether at own request or being relieved by the employer after earning pension.

Notwithstanding the provision of age-relaxation under para 3(II) (2) (f) above, candidates of PwBD category will be considered to be eligible for appointment only if they (after such Medical Examination as the Government or appointing authority, as the case may be, may prescribe) are found to satisfy the requirements of physical and medical standards for the concerned Services to be allocated to the candidates of PwBD category by the Government.

Note-V :
Save as provided under para 3(II) (2) above, the age-limits prescribed can in no case be relaxed.

ii) Number of Attempts within Age Limit

The UPSC has raised the upper age limit and number of attempts of applicants of the Civil Service Examination with effect from 2015. The upper age limit will be 32 years for the unreserved (general) category with 6 attempts. It will be 35 years for OBC candidates with 9 attempts; and will be 37 years for SC/ST candidates with unlimited number of attempts. For physically handicapped candidates the age limit is 42, 45 and 47 years for General, OBC and SC/ST category respectively while the number of attempts is 9 for General and OBC and unlimited for SC/SC category.

Every candidate appearing at the examination, who is otherwise eligible, shall be permitted six (6) attempts at the CSE. However, relaxation in the number of attempts will be available to the SC/ST/OBC and PwBD category candidates who are otherwise eligible.

UPSC age limit & Attempts in Tabular Format

Category Maximum Age No. of Attempts
General 32 6
OBC 32+3=35 9
SC/ST 32+5=37 As many as upto age limt
EWS 32 9
Physically disabled
(Blind, Deaf-mute, Orthopedic)
32+10=42 09 for GL/EWS/OBC Unlimited for SC/ST
J&K domicile if general then 32+5=37
OBC then 32+5+3=40
SC/ST then 32+5+5=42
PH then 32+5+10=50
depending on above categories viz.Gen, OBC, SC/ST, Disabled
Disabled serviceman discharged from duty if general then 32+3=35
OBC then 32+3+3=38
SC/ST then 32+3+5=40
Ex-serviceman with five years duty* specific condition on page2 of notification if general then 32+5=37
OBC then 32+5+3=40
SC/ST then 32+5+5=42

Right Age for qualifying in UPSC

    Some of the advantages of cracking the UPSC exams at an early age are:
  • You get more time to reach top postings as your contenders retire before you.
  • For posting to the Secretary level in the Indian Government, its very useful.
  • Also you settle down earlier in life cutting down struggles.
    Is it too late to qualify at the age of 31 and above?
  • If you are still considering then it’s surely worth it. Also by now you have probably not found satisfaction in your current occupation.
  • You may not reach the top of the department but you will surely enjoy the best part of your tenure in the districts and places of importance and public interaction, Which are rarer as you go up the ladder.

Average Age of successful Candidates in the UPSC

Most of the candidates who clear the UPSC civil services fall in the age bracket of 26 to 28 years. Even the NITI Aayog is recommending the age limit for general category aspirants be brought down to 27 from the current 32.

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